Socks

PWOLOCS is an organization to which I have belonged for a very long time. Never heard of us?  We are the “People Who Love Crazy Socks”.

Since I am prone to joining various groups, I will also confess to being a devoted member of “FTHGTTG”- known by insiders as “Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

Note: If you have seen the movie but not read the book, please read the book because you have missed the point entirely. On the other hand, if you have read this wonderful book by Douglas Adams, but missed the movie, don’t bother.  

Now, back to the topic at hand (or foot). Upon opening the box that mysteriously appeared at my door, I found an item perfectly designed for a person who is at the nexus of both organizations. There was a pair of blue, green, white, and red socks decorated with the appropriate avatar. Most importantly, printed in large red letters is the instruction “DON’T PANIC”. Actually, “DON’T” is on one sock and “PANIC” is on the other. Daughter is a genius. She knows that this pair of footwear was made for me. Actually, I’m not sure whether she sent these because of my memberships or because the message was necessary after the recent election.  

Socks?  At this point in my story, I was momentarily stymied as to what to tell you next. You all know about the voracious troll that lives in our washing machines. Then I found the following history that will stay with me forever.

An Abbreviated Apocryphal History of the Lost Socks

Brought to you via www.funbureau.com/History/history.html with some changes by Betty A. because it was too long.

The Bureau of Missing Socks (BMS) began in 1861 as a company in the Union Army during the Civil War. The founder was Joseph Smithson, a haberdasher and inept soldier who was in charge of socks.  

Major Smithson’s Order:  Each soldier is to turn in a full pair of socks before receiving new ones. That was when he discovered that most troops only lost one sock at a time. This was his first brush with the missing sock phenomenon. He was, however, able to institute his doctrine of field repair thus creating the first sock darning company in the United States Army. He then created the first Field Sock Darning Kit and advocated the integration of women into the armed services to darn the socks. 

"The Darners" unit was overlooked after the war, but the BMS was transferred to civilian control where it immediately came under the grip of corrupt officials in the Grant Administration known as the Whisky Ring, who went to jail in 1875.  Meanwhile, the U.S. had purchased enough socks to equip all the armies in World War I and II, except that the socks were too small. 

After World War II, the BMS had nothing to do, however the budget was increased and in four years the Bureau grew to what it is today. Our vast stockpiles of socks were put to use as part of the Marshall Plan. No European had to worry about cold feet in the winter if they wore size seven or less.

During the Cold War, Stalin insisted that the BMS was really a cover for a new powerful weapon and ordered the KGB to penetrate the facilities. The CIA jumped the gun. The BMS budget was again increased. Cryptologists devised a new code name ‘Argyle’ which no one could decipher.   The Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union was kaput, and the BMS’s existence was challenged until 1994 when the mission of the Bureau officially changed to solving the mystery of the disappearing single sock.

Its headquarters are located on a BLUFF high above the Potomac River. 

Betty Ago



Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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